“Po at Opo” at Risk
Marianne C. Gonzales
Aside from hospitality, Filipinos are well-known all over the world because of its “po” and “opo” that directly pertain to politeness. These Filipino polite expressions promote respect to elders. But sad to say, many of the children nowadays seemed to forget this value.
When I was young, I am wondering why my teacher said that all of us must bring our salt all the time (lagingdalhin ang asin). Out of curiosity, I asked my mother what it means. She explained to me that polite expressions, ”po and opo” must be practicedat all times especially when having a conversation with the elders.
It is a sad fact that many of the pupils in our school already forgot the value of politeness. This could be reflected on the words we uttered to the teachers and other personnel in the school. “Po” and “Opo” were often disregarded even in the simple act of buying foods in the canteen, talking with the guard, or even conversing to the elders inside the school. One of the great treasures and values of the Filipinos is gradually vanishing in our hearts.
Maybe, this is the high time to revive this value. We must practice politeness at all times. In our everyday living, politeness must be injected especially to young people so that it will be a part of their system. We need to continue this practice for it was one of the great treasures that our ancestors passed through generations. Always remember that being polite make us worthy and being worthy will start with the polite expressions “po” and “opo”.
The author is Teacher III at Gregorio Ela Bautista ES (Formerly Tapuac ES) Brgy.Tapuac, Masinloc, Zambales